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Salsa Blog

How to Connect, Cultivate and Convert New Supporters into Donors

by Amanda Foster, Account Manager & Libby Sinback, Account Manager

You’ve read the earlier Salsa blog posts and are finding major success in growing your supporter list! But how do you turn these new folks into donors and not just another e-mail on a list?

Contacting fresh supporters while your mission and cause are still in the forefront of your supporters’ minds is crucial to your fundraising and advocacy efforts, but how long should you wait before you ask for money? The short answer is: it depends. Read below to find out what makes the difference.

Here are some tactics to consider as you plan your conversion strategy:

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome – Plan a personalized welcome email series each with a different message. Use Salsa’s e-mail trigger feature to set this up easily. This gives you opportunities to introduce and share more information about your nonprofit in the weeks immediately following an email opt-in. Using this period works to forge a deeper connection before you request a formal donation.

When to ask for a Donation – As with all parts of your communication plan, use testing! In some cases, asking for a donation immediately works and sometimes, supporters do not contribute until a later e-mail. Results can vary wildly, so test your welcome email program, paying careful attention to opt-out rates. And test different iterations of your welcome series. Finally, pay attention to the news. If your supporters normally do not give until the 3rd e-mail but major legislation was just passed that negatively affects your mission, jump on these opportunities to increase your fundraising.

What do Your Subscribers Expect? – As you plan and schedule your outreach strategy to new supporters, ask yourself what expectations the subscriber has. For instance, if he/she signed up for an e-newsletter, avoid bombarding them with more fundraising requests than substantive updates.

Mix it Up – If you have the resources, add direct mail and a phone call to the welcome mix. Using multiple touch points gives you an opportunity to engage your new subscribers without overwhelming their Inbox, and direct mail and calls are often seen as more personal. Send an email, the direct mail piece, and finally, give them a call (the latter two can both be used to request a donation). Don’t forget to suppress names of those who’ve already responded in some way.

Integrate New Names into All your Programs – In addition to direct mail and calls, make your supporters aware of social media. Salsa’s social sharing feature can do this in both e-mail and on each webpage. Make sure your presence is active and current and that your pages have visible call to action links and “Donate Now” apps or icons.

If you follow the tips above, you should have great success in getting new subscribers dedicated to your organization and should be able to turn many into donors. Good luck!

Topics: Fundraising